02-Jan-2020 • Personal Finance

The biggest barriers in the way of Australians reaching their 2020 financial goals are ‘inadequate incomes’ and ‘expenses’ according to a new study by ME Bank.

In the study of 1,000 Australians by ME, over half (52%) said their income – or lack of – was the key barrier to achieving their 2020 financial goals, followed closely by the cost of living expenses (48%).

Other barriers to achieving financial goals cited by respondents include a lack of discipline (21%), lack of financial knowledge (13%) and a bad attitude (5%).

ME Money Expert Matthew Read said, “When incomes don’t rise in line with expenses, households find it more difficult to save, putting their financial goals under pressure.”

Overall the study found a minority of respondents (25%) said they were ‘very likely’ to achieve their goals, indicating a general lack of confidence in the ability of households to achieve their financial goals.

Despite this, the most popular financial goals for 2020 were saving for a holiday, car or expense other than a home (43%), building up ‘rainy day’ savings (42%), saving enough to buy a property (21%), reviewing water, gas and electricity contracts to ensure value for money (20%), and not building up any more debt (19.5%).

When asked to rank the importance of certain financial goals, the top five most important goals were revealed to be:

  1. Saving for a holiday car or expense other than a home
  2. Building up ‘rainy day’ savings
  3. Saving enough to buy a property
  4. Reducing expenditure on ‘expensive’ habits
  5. Not building up any more debt


Editor notes: ME surveyed 1,000 Australian adults in December 2019, with fieldwork conducted by research provider Pureprofile.